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Thursday, September 10, 2020
Hilo Jail Riot Began with Contraband Search
By News Release @ 6:18 AM :: 520 Views :: Hawaii County , Law Enforcement

9/9/20 UPDATE - HCCC INMATE DISTURBANCE STARTED BY INMATES PROTESTING SHAKEDOWN CONTRABAND SEARCH

News Release from Hawaii PSD, Sept 9, 2020

HONOLULU –Final reports are still being compiled by the Hawaii Community Correctional Center (HCCC) but what we can confirm, based on preliminary information, is that inmates started the disturbance after a shakedown search for contraband was conducted in their housing unit. There is no indication that overcrowding contributed to the cause.

“Stopping contraband from entering any correctional institution is a continuous effort that our staff prioritize to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our staff, the community, as well as the inmates. The staff were doing their job to eliminate a suspected contraband pathway and the fact of the matter is, the inmates didn’t like it. Ultimately, it’s about safety of inmates, our correctional officers and civilian staff, and the public,” said Fred Hyun, Special Master to the Department of Public Safety (PSD).

“We commend the HCCC staff for quickly enacting their emergency response plan, deploying their teams and bringing order to the module swiftly, as they were trained to do,” said Maria Cook, Deputy Director for Administration.

One staff member was taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries and released last night. Eight inmates were also transported to the hospital to be evaluated for minor injuries and smoke inhalation. The inmates were all medically cleared and returned to the facility last night. Medical and mental health staff are circulating through the housing units to make sure all inmates who request a consult are seen.

Damage to the Waianuenue housing unit is still being assessed. Inmates broke windows and security screens, and set mattresses, plastic chairs and books on fire. There is also smoke damage from the fire and water damage from the activation of the sprinkler system. Cost estimates are pending the on-going damage assessment.

Hawaii Police are currently conducting a criminal investigation and will make the determination on possible criminal charges. The internal investigation is ongoing.

The inmates housed in Waianuenue are sentenced felons serving short prison sentences of less than 2 years.

  *   *   *   *   *

Disturbance at Hilo’s correctional center contained after fire, barricades

HNN: … A Department of Public Safety spokesperson said the incident began around 3:45 p.m. and was contained by 5:30 p.m.

Hawaii County police say it all started after an affray within the facility that led to a riot and a fire.

“The police department was called by HCCC for assistance in securing their perimeter," said Lt. Todd Pataray with the Hawaii County Police Department.

DPS said responding personnel “used non-lethal means to subdue inmates, gain compliance and bring order back to the housing unit by 5:30 p.m.”

Trisha Gives said she could hear screams from inside the jail.

“The inmates were screaming, yelling, cursing, cussing. Mostly they were screaming, ‘Help! Get me out! They treat us like dogs!’” said Gives.

(Translation: Even though we don’t have COVID in this facility, we expect to be rewarded with a release right now.)

DPS previously added the incident involved inmates in the A-wing of the Wainuenue housing module. They allegedly set a fire within the building and barricaded doors.

Video sent to Hawaii News Now showed smoke pouring out of the facility with inmates and staff standing outside.

“There are 25 inmates in that housing wing who will all be questioned to determine what prompted the unrest and who was directly involved. Inmates found culpable will be criminally and administratively charged,” officials said.

Crews from the Hawaii Fire Department were dispatched to the scene along with added police and State Sheriffs who were called to assist. An EMS team also responded.

Minor injuries among inmates from the initial fight were reported by county police. Multiple corrections officers also suffered smoke inhalation and respiratory issues from the fire…. 

read … Disturbance at Hilo’s correctional center contained after fire, barricades

HNN: DPS: Hilo jail disturbance erupted as a protest to a shakedown contraband search

HTH: Officials: Inmates barricade themselves, set fire and riot at HCCC

KHON: ‘Public safety has things that need to be corrected,’ a lawmaker says as a riot occurs at HCCC 

CB: Prisoners housed in Waianuenue are sentenced felons (laughing at you because they are only) serving short sentences of less than two years.

 

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